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Workplace Fires: 8 Common Causes and How to Prevent Them

Many things can cause workplace fires, but by following these safety tips, you can do your part to help prevent them.

Every year, there are thousands of fires in the workplace that result in injuries and deaths. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common causes of workplace fires and what you can do to help prevent them.

a workplace fire alarm that has been pulled

Faulty Electrical Equipment

One of the most common causes of workplace fires is faulty electrical equipment. If you work with electrical equipment, it is important to have it regularly inspected by a qualified electrician. Additionally, it’s generally best to unplug electrical equipment when not in use and avoid overloading outlets.

Cooking Equipment

Another common cause of workplace fires is cooking equipment. This happens most often in restaurants but can also occur in other workplaces. If you are cooking at work, be sure to stay aware of what you are doing and keep flammable materials away from the stove.

Flammable and Combustible Materials

Improper storage of combustible materials such as cardboard, paper, paints, chemicals, and plastics can lead to workplace fires. Worst yet, some of the vapors that these materials release when they burn are toxic, which can lead to serious health problems for workers. Always store flammable and combustible materials in containers labeled “flammable” and keep them away from heat sources.


Cigarettes, cigars, and pipes are another leading cause of workplace fires. If you choose to smoke at work, be sure to use a designated smoking area away from any flammable materials.


Arson can be intentional or accidental, but either way, it can have devastating consequences. If you suspect that someone may be setting fires deliberately in your workplace, notify the authorities immediately.

Human Error

Human error is another leading cause of workplace fires. This can include anything from smoking in the workplace to leaving equipment turned on. Be sure to follow all safety rules and regulations in your workplace to help prevent fires.

Natural Disasters

While we often think of fire as being caused by human activity, natural disasters such as lightning strikes can also cause workplace fires. If your workplace is located in an area prone to natural disasters, be sure to have a plan in place in case of fire.

Poorly Equipped Workplace

If a workplace does not have the proper fire safety equipment, it is more likely to experience a fire. Ensure that your workplace has working smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and an evacuation plan.

There are many things that can cause workplace fires, but by following these safety tips, you can do your part to help prevent them. 

St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, it’s best to avoid trying to deal with the insurance company on your own – they are generally out to save money by limiting the amount they have to payout. One of the best things you can do is speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

At The Law Office of James M. Hoffman, our team of experienced attorneys has been helping injured Missouri workers get compensation for over 30 years. Give us a call today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights after a workplace injury.

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Updated: June 15, 2022